Educators from Cowra and Grenfell Receive Scholarship

More than 400 aspiring early childhood teachers have been awarded scholarships to complete their studies thanks to the NSW Government’s 2022-23 Early Childhood Education Scholarships Program.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has congratulated Hayley Amos of Cowra and Kyrstye Henry of Grenfell, two of four local scholarship recipients already employed in the early childhood sector.

“I am so pleased for Hayley and Kyrstye who, with the support of these scholarships, will have the opportunity to boost their skills as degree qualified early childhood teachers,” Ms Cooke said.

“Not only will the scholarships be of immense benefit to each of them professionally, but this investment is all about us growing our own, supporting the early childhood workforce and nurturing a sustainable pipeline of future early childhood teachers.

“This is also exciting news for the centres where Hayley and Kyrstye are employed, as well as the little learners who are in their care on a daily basis.”

Educator Hayley Amos has been with Cowra Early Childhood Services for two years and said this scholarship opportunity is life changing.

“I am so grateful, especially as I will finish my degree in December 2024,” Ms Amos said.

Kyrstye Henry has been with Grenfell Preschool and Long Day Centre for two years and said she is delighted to have been awarded this scholarship.

“I am excited to bring the knowledge I gain to the Grenfell Preschool community,” Ms Henry said.

Minister for Early Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said one third of all successful scholars live and work in regional and remote areas across the state.

“With submissions from hundreds of talented applicants, many already working in community preschools and long day care services, it’s great to support these applicants to retrain or start their early childhood career,” Ms Mitchell said.

“These scholarships will support recipients to deepen their understanding of early childhood environments and gain additional skills and capabilities which will be passed on to the children they teach.

“I congratulate the scholars on their commitment to education and I wish them every success in their studies and future careers as qualified early childhood teachers.”

More information can be found on the Department’s website:

Applications Now Open For Apprentice Scholarships

Local first year apprentices facing financial or personal hardship will be supported with a $15,000 scholarship to undertake their trade and study through a NSW Government scholarship program.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said applications are now open for the Bert Evans Apprentice Scholarship which will support 120 people to either start, change, or further their career. 

“This scholarship program offers a great incentive for eligible locals to kick-start their career. Whether you need to purchase new tools, cover fuel or car maintenance, or pay for additional study, these scholarships have helped people overcome personal barriers to finish their apprenticeships and follow their trade calling,” Ms Cooke said.

“We have seen a lot of success from the program in our region, with residents being able to upskill and gain employment, whilst also boosting the local workforce of our small businesses.”

“Under the last round, five scholarships were awarded to students across a number of industries including hairdressing and electrotechnology.”

The NSW Government will invest $1.8 million in the program, which provides $5,000 over three years to support apprentices who demonstrate a high aptitude for vocational education and training and are committed to their on the job and formal training.

Minister for Skills and Training Alister Henskens said there were more than 107,000 people in-training across NSW, a 29 per cent increase on the year before.  

“Apprenticeships are a critical part of ensuring NSW has a pipeline of skilled workers, but we also understand the financial limitations and challenges that arise for apprentices while completing their trade,” Mr Henskens said.

“As NSW has seen through bushfires, floods and the pandemic, apprentices remain a vital part of the economy and make a strong contribution to local businesses and communities.”

“The Bert Evans Apprentice Scholarships are in addition to the 100,000 fee-free apprenticeships and 70,000 fee-free traineeships and other low-fee courses funded by the NSW Government.”

The scholarship program is named in honour of the late Bert Evans AO, a passionate advocate of vocational education for more than 30 years.

Applications are open and will close Friday, 27 May 2022.

For more information and to apply visit or phone 13 28 11.

Cowra’s Rochelle Longhurst Announced as Recipient of the Future Women NSW Rural Scholarship

Cowra local Rochelle Longhurst has been named as one of 24 recipients of the 2022 NSW Future Women Rural Scholarship Program.

The one-year scholarship program will begin with the finalists attending the Future Women Leadership Summit in Sydney on March 7 and 8, as part of the 2022 NSW Women’s Week celebrations.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said regional women like Rochelle are the lifeblood of so many bush communities.

“The services and support Rochelle has provided over the years in community health to our small towns and villages is invaluable and greatly appreciated among residents,” Ms Cooke said.

“Rochelle is a very deserving recipient, I send my best wishes and a huge congratulations to her on being awarded this scholarship.”

“Rochelle has already gone above and beyond for our community and continues to do so through her recent appointment as Nursing Unit Manager for Tresillian Cowra, and this program will boost her leadership potential even further as she inspires the next generation of local leaders.”

Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor said the program is designed to connect driven and passionate women from all ages and backgrounds, and help them in developing leadership skills as they progress to the next stage of their career.

“The cohort, made up of small business owners, psychologists, farmers, business leaders, pilots and field workers will have a unique opportunity to connect and learn from each other in a setting that actively supports and encourages women to achieve their goals both personally and professionally,” Mrs Taylor said.

Not only do the winners get access to the coveted Future Women Platinum+ Program, valued at $5,500 each, but all 218 women who entered will also receive a complimentary one-year Gold membership, which gives them access to Future Proof, a year-long career development webinar series, and a 50 per cent discount to attend the Future Women Leadership Summit on March 7 and 8. To find out more, visit: